Setting the right temperature for your commercial dishwasher is very important. There are two types of temperature settings according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The first is low temperature dishwashers with chemical sanitization. The second is high temperature with hot water sanitization. You must be familiar with the federal state standards to ensure that you do not violate any health protocol.
So, if you or your company has purchased a commercial dishwasher, read this article to find out more. This way, you can choose the option that best suits your business needs.
High temperature setting
You need hot water for high temperature settings. The water should be hot enough to sanitize the dishes. Hot water removes visible impurities and bacteria.
The high temperature setting is between 150-160 degrees for the wash water. The temperature of the rinse water should be between 180 to 195 degrees.
Low temperature setting
Low temperature settings should be between 120 to 150 degrees for both the wash and rinse cycles. Since this is not a high temperature, you need to use chemical sanitizers. Chlorine is the most commonly used sanitizer. You must ensure that the water temperature does not rise above 150 degrees. Otherwise, chlorine becomes unstable.
According to NSF, the temperature should be a minimum of 120 degrees for commercial dishwashers. Below 120 degrees is considered a health code violation. Some local codes even require a temperature higher than 120 degrees.
The reason for setting the minimum at 120 is because, below that the study shows bad washing results. Animal fats begin to break down at a temperature of at least 138.5 degrees. Therefore, if the setting is only 120 degrees, you need detergents to remove animal fat.
Below 120 degrees can cause problems. What will happen is that the grease and residual fat will still remain behind. The grease can transfer to the dishes. Grease can even build up inside the engine. Another effect is that temperatures below 120 degrees can cause smears on dishes and spotting on glassware. Finally, the dishes dry slowly. Water will accumulate on the dishes and cause water rings.
Because of these, the required temperature is 120 degrees. But the recommended temperature is 140 degrees.
Below are also rules established by NSF/ANSI for wash temperature:
- Belts of multiple tanks – at least 150 degrees
- Conveyors with one tank – at least 160 degrees
- Stationary with one temperature – at least 165 degrees
- Double temperature with a stationary rack – at least 150 degrees
For the final rinse temperature, the settings should be below:
- Stationary rack – at least 165 degrees
- All other commercial dishwashers – at least 180 degrees
The minimum temperature for sanitizing final rinsing of glassware using chlorine should be at least 75 degrees.
Finally, 195 degrees is the maximum temperature for the sanitizing final rinse for all commercial dishwashers.
Using a booster heater
You can also get an extra device called a booster heater. It is a 3 to 5 gallon tank. The purpose of a booster heater is to ensure that the final rinse water is hot enough to sanitize.
The booster heater ensures that it meets the sanitation regulations. The booster heater is not required for low temperature dishwashers that run at 120 degrees or higher.
But if your machine settings show that the final rinse is not enough, then get a booster heater. Finally, one advantage of a booster heater is that it can also dry dishes. As such, you can save both time and money.
Choice between low or high temperature dishwashers
This is a tough choice to make. Some businesses require a high temperature, others a low temperature. The factors to consider are the type of business, foot traffic, personal preference, and costs.
Additional costs and equipment
If cost is a major consideration for you, then you can go with low temperature equipment. A high temperature dishwasher is more expensive. In addition, it requires more power and energy, increasing electricity costs.
A low temperature dryer requires more wash cycles to remove stains. The effect is higher water bills.
Another note to consider is that a high temperature engine may require a booster heater. The high temperature also creates more steam. With a lot of steam, you may need to install a vent hood. Having a vent hood requires more space and incurs purchase and electricity costs.
Low temperature machines do not generate much steam. Ergo, you don’t need to buy a vent hood. Low temperature dishwashers are less expensive, more energy efficient, and cheaper to repair. But you have to buy chemical sanitizers.
You need to be warned intended to use chemical sanitizers. Over time, it can damage dishes, dinnerware, or plastic. In addition, chemical sanitizer is an environmental hazard.
If speed is a major consideration for you, choose a high temperature dishwasher. It can make washing cycles faster. In addition, the dishes are almost dry after use.
Meanwhile, you need air drying for low temperature dishwashers. Therefore, if you have a busier restaurant, it may be wiser to invest in a high temperature machine.
Removes grease and fat
High temperature dishwashers are more effective at removing grease and fat. For restaurants that serve a variety of foods, a low temperature dishwasher may not be the best choice. But for bars, where lipstick is the only residue to think of, you may not need a high temperature dishwasher.
Before you buy the right dishwasher, you should study your options carefully. Know the pros and cons of dishwashers. Check what applies best to your type of business. Consider your needs and your foot traffic. High temperature machines are more expensive in the beginning compared to low temperature. But it can save costs in the long run since you don’t need chemical sanitizers.
If you need more information on buying a commercial dishwasher, visit https://warewashingsolutions.com.au.